Happy Halloween!

My brother and I with our Mom-made costumes around 1994/1995?

Happy Halloween! 

Sorry for the lack of chatter around here this week. Between worrying for my family in regards Super Storm Sandy, and my inevitable motivation decline (S.A.D.), It’s been a weird week. 

Sending all my good vibes to those affected by the storm! 


A Totally Necessary Amount of New Lipstick


“I said pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”  

-Marilyn Monroe 

There’s just something about lipstick that makes everything a little more pleasant.  When I’ve had a shit day, I go home, do my hair, put on some lipstick, and just bask in my own awesomeness. Well sometimes I enter the general populace, but I’m more likely to hermit if I’m feeling like a grump. 

I’ve been a fan a lipstick, red to be exact, for as long as I can remember. Sneaking it on during the bus ride to freshman year, because I wasn’t allowed to wear something so dark, I felt cool. 

I felt mysterious. I felt awesome.

My love affair with red lips is just as strong as ever. 

But I have a confession. I might be a lipstick hoarder. In fact I’ve added 9 new lipsticks to my collection yesterday alone. 

To my own credit though, they’re cheapies. Like 1.99 cheap. I also had a 50% off coupon, which brought them down to a buck a piece. Totally worth it. Plus since it wasn’t 20 dollars a lipstick I wasn’t afraid to try some new colors. They’re the Wet n’ Wild Mega last lipsticks, which are the best you can get for that price. The color payoff is great, but the formula leaves a bit to be desired. 

Here’s some swatches to show you guys my haul.

My lips, and my Gap. No primer or liner.

I mean really, you’re not going to get better looking lipstick for two dollars. 

Side note, Fire & Ice is a Revlon color, and one of their original colors. It’s vintage, shall we say? It’s a pretty close match to red velvet, the color is a bit deeper red though. I couldn’t stop myself from wanting it when I saw this ad on a blog recently. 


 Click to enlarge and take the Quiz! 

Back to the Wet n’ Wild lipsticks though, starting with the good points.

  • Great color pay off.
  • Cheap as hale.
  • Very long lasting, made it all the way through dinner.
  • More matte than shiny.
  • Good selection of colors.

Now the not so good

  • The lipstick needs to warm up a bit to apply well. I normally start in the center of my bottom lip, working outwards. It lets the lipstick go on a bit smoother with the friction and body heat. 
  • Dry Formula. I would definitely recommend you exfoliate your lips and apply a moisturizer to your lips before you even think about putting mega-last lipsticks on. Because the formula is rather dry it will show every dry spot on your lip, and will apply really poorly if you’re chapped. I have a feeling that the lack of moisturizers is what helps the product last so long though. 
  • Flat top shape. Unlike most lipstick the shape of this is flat instead of slanted. It’s kind of annoying to apply to your cupids bow where a taper would help a lot. You could always apply with a brush to avoid that though. 
  • Not all the lipsticks had the color name on the bottom, some just had the shade number. The color name is printed on the packaging that you remove, so that’s kind of pointless. 

Overall, and it gets big ups for the price, you can’t go too wrong with this lipstick. Some people have said that the lighter shades can be a bit chalky, but I didn’t find that to be a problem with my light shade(rose bud). It”d be a great way to try a color you wouldn’t normally go for. I know that a lot of the colors avaible are mac dupes. Here are some of the dupes for colors I got. 

Purty Persimmion 1.99 – Mac Sail La Vie or 

Mac So Chaud


Stop Light Red 1.99 – Mac Russian Red 15.99

Fire & Ice 3.99 or Red Velvet 1.99 – Mac Lady Danger 15.99

What’s my favorite color? As of right now it is definitely Cherry Bomb. Maybe I’ve been watching the craft one two many times, but I think it looks pretty awesome on me. 

Have you found your perfect shade? 

New and Improved Karl!

Remember how I told you guys about how we spruced up karl a bit?

Well I finally got around to taking some photos. I think he looks pretty good. For the last version of the living room

check it out here. 

Why yes, that is the third rug we’ve had in the past two years. This one is sticking around, it’s so soft and wonderful. The table was a vintage find from an antique fair. The Ikea tray we already had just so happens to fit perfectly on top. 

Look at how big Taco is getting (Depending on who you talk to, it’s Taco or Spaghet. In real life, he answers to “kittens” more than anything. David never ended up sticking.)! I think the first time

I posted about him was here. 

 He still has leg issues, but at this point it’s looking like it will be a lifelong thing. There’s a hunch that his cerebellum either isn’t full developed, or it sustained some trauma early in life. He has a pretty awesome life, he scuttles around the house chasing Bowie, and eats EVERYTHING. 

I also picked up this tray the day I bought the chaise. It’s nice to have a place to set the remotes and my coffee in the morning. Plus it’s a great color. I need more blue in this room. I think the curtains are going to be a bit too dark for winter though. Might be time to do a little seasonal switch out. 

Winters are pretty depressing here in Cincinnati. We statistically have more overcast and rainy days than Seattle. A little color couldn’t hurt in improving the mood round the house. 

DIY Rice Heating Pad

When I’m sore, cold, or sick there’s just something about a heating pad. Since I’m basically queen of making do with what I have, I’ve been known to fill a long sock with rice and heat it up in the microwave  The rice stays nice and hot, and is easy and cheap to use.

Yesterday as I was cleaning out my sewing room, going through my huge scraps box, when an idea struck me. 

Instead of using socks, I’m sure I could scrap bust and make something a bit prettier and functional. 

Thus was born my rice heating pad. Mine ended up being the exact same side as my ipad, which works well for me. If you made yours a bit longer it could be great for using around your neck. 

It took me about ten minutes to make, which probably explains the lack of pictures. I tried my best to diagram it out for you. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask. It’s really simple, I promise.

Cut a piece of fabric that is going to be about an inch longer double the amount of height you would like your final heating pad to be. 

On your long sides, press the seam allowance in. 

Then Fold it in half, hot dog style, so the right sides are touching. Sew using about an inch seam allowance. Trim your seams.

Flip your pouch out again so the right sides are on the outside. Press so your seams are neat. 

Then sew channels along the pouch on the outside. Leave enough room so it’s not hard to get rice in. You sew the channels so the rice stays evenly distributed, and so it can easily wrap to you body.

I used a funnel to get in my rice, leaving enough room to sew it shut. 

I sewed a double row of stitching just to make sure it was secure.

And your done. This is a handy little heating pad, and make great gifts. Now that it’s getting colder, we all could use a little heat, no? 

To use, simply place in your microwave and “cook” for about a minute at a time until it reaches the desired temperature. If it’s too hot, wrap it in a hand towel until it cools down. 

Fall Palette Challenge

Please Check out my


for sources.

It’s that time of year where I start my seasonal sewing plan. Unlike in spring, where I completed say only three projects, I’d like to get a lot more sewing done this winter. Seeing as it’s already like 40 degrees outside I have a feeling this winter is going to be a bad one. Nothing gets me more sewing productive than being stuck in the house. 

I haven’t purchased any fabric for this yet, and it doesn’t really match anything in my stash, which means I’ll need to buy as I go. I’m not super stoked about that, but my stash right now is kind of all over the place. Nothing coherent is coming from that mess. I have some patterns in mind though I’d like to take a crack at, all of which I already own. 

Simplcitiy 1427 from 1955, I have a really well maintained copy in my size. I’ve never sewn from a true vintage pattern before, and it makes me a bit nervous. I expect there to be tons of fitting issues, but I could use some fitting practice. The full skirt and bow are staying well within my theme. 

Victory Patterns Nicola. This is such a beautiful dress. Really timeless. It seems pretty easy to put together as well, which is a plus. 

Simplicity 1776. I love the clean lines of view A with the three quarter length sleeves. I’ve never used a PR pattern before, I’m interested in what makes them unique. 

Ah the trusty, and free, sorbetto pattern. I plan on drafting some sleeves and a peter-pan collar to mimic the striped shirt in my mood board. 

I have a ton more patterns in mind as well. I’m in the process of organizing and documenting my pattern stash. It’ll be easier to figure out what I want to sew once I know what I have. I also want to dip my toe into actual pattern drafting this winter. I need to make myself a good sloper. If that’s something anyone is interested in, I could blog the process. 

Do you have any sewing plans this winter? 

Ikea Hack A Tall Hyllis Unit

I have a problem about not using my vertical space. I live in a small home and should really be taking advantage of it. I’m in the middle of my mini living room makeover for fall. I got the sofa situation sorted out (read about that here), and now I’m working on the other parts of the room. 
This is the view from our new comfy couch. 
Look at that stout little shelf. It’s at the same height as the TV. It gives us this huge dead space on that wall, and makes the room feel shorter. Raising the TV higher is a no go, my boyfriend is a major cinema-file and has last say on everything that is related to his viewing experience. So I turned to the shelf. It’s the Ikea Hyllis   shelf. It’s simple and cheap, coming in at just fifteen dollars. I use them a lot in my basement, and needed something to hold a few vinyls and my ever growing magazine collection. I just grabbed one I already owned from the basement and have been using it there for the past few months. 
I wanted a taller shelf though, but new more new furniture isn’t really in my budget at the moment. Time to get a little bit crafty. I thought I could probably double up the shelving and create a taller unit. Buying another hyllis would only set me back 15 bucks, and if it didn’t work I could just use it in the basement for storage. 
So I set to work. 
I assembled the second shelf as the instructions said. The I removed on shelf from each unit. 
One one the top, and on one the bottom. You won’t need these shelves, so set them aside. 
You will also need to remove the screws from the shelves where the support pieces need to overlap. 
Stack them on top of one another and match the holes as best you can. I had a small issue with the hole not being perfectly round when I matched everything up. It wasn’t a big deal, using a drill/screw gun to screw in the screws made it easy. 
It only took a few minutes really, and I think makes a big difference. 
In fact, a wall of these double tall hyllis might look very cool as a library. 
Now I just need to figure out what to do above the tv, maybe some art? 
Any Ideas?  

PS Sorry for the crappy iphone photos, they were kind of an after thought. 

Thai Pumpkin Soup

We had two pie pumpkins our Green Bean Delivery produce box. It’s kind of like a CSA box. I don’t think I’ve done much with a whole pumpkin besides carve them. Well to be quite honest, I’ve smashed my fair share as well. 

I thought I would try to whip up a tasty soup to go along with this wonderful crisp weather the Midwest seems to be experiencing! 

So first things first, we need to deal with this pumpkin. I guess it’s size was around a pie pumpkin? Bigger than a softball, but smaller than a basket ball. I Scooped, and saved, the seeds. Then I peeled and cubed the remaining flesh.

I then microwaved it for about 15 minutes just to cut down on the cooking time. I’m sure you could roast it and have it turn out just as tasty, if not more. But to be real, I don’t see myself getting home from work and roasting a pumpkin for a few hours. I’m more of an instant satisfaction kind of girl. 

Once you’ve completed nuking your pumpkin, put it in a large stock put with water or broth of your choosing. I used water and a generous pour of my favorite sweet cream cooking sherry. You’re going to want to use enough liquid to cover the pumpkin, a lot of it is going to evaporate. 

Set your pot to boil. 

Keep an eye on it and stir to avoid burning. We want to get the pumpkin at a point where you can mash it easily. It took mine about 20-30 minutes. Once it’s soft, remove it from the burner. You’re going to want to mash it with a potato masher, stick blender, or like me a cocktail muddler. What can I say, I’m an adult. 

Make sure it’s pretty thoroughly mashed, Don’t leave any big chunks of pumpkin behind. 

My other ingredients! I used some minced roasted garlic in olive oil, roasted red chili paste, green curry paste, coconut milk, turmeric, and salt and pepper. I used about 1 tablespoon of the first three ingredients  The coconut milk was an entire 14 ounce can, and the turmeric was about a teaspoon. 

With a soup like this you don’t have to be super precise in your measurements, just make sure you are tasting as you season. I just threw everything in and put the pot back on the burner, over medium, to heat it up until it was hot. It it’s too thick, you can always throw some milk, soy or otherwise in.

Garnish with a bit of sour cream, you could use soy based sour cream if you’d like to keep it vegan, and the pumpkins seeds I roasted while this cooked. If I had any cilantro I probably would have chopped some up and thrown it on top as well. 

We ate this with some hearty whole wheat toast. It’s the kind of soup that really sticks to the ribs, and you don’t need much before you start to feel full. It has just the right amount of spice to warm you up. 

Overall I think this might be a new fall favorite recipe of mine. 

Do you have any recipe or treat that just screams fall?